3M is a diversified technology company with a global presence in the following businesses: Industrial; Safety and Graphics; Health Care; Electronics and Energy; and Consumer. 3M is among the leading manufacturers of products for many of the markets it serves. Most 3M products involve expertise in product development, manufacturing and marketing, and are subject to competition from products manufactured and sold by other technologically oriented companies.
At December 31, 2019, the Company employed 96,163 people (full-time equivalents), with 39,662 employed in the United States and 56,501 employed internationally.
3M manages its operations in five business segments. The reportable segments are Industrial, Safety and Graphics, Health Care, Electronics and Energy, and Consumer. 3M’s five business segments bring together common or related 3M technologies, enhancing the development of innovative products and services and providing for efficient sharing of business resources. Financial information and other disclosures relating to 3M’s business segments and operations in major geographic areas are provided in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
The Industrial segment serves a broad range of markets, such as automotive original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and automotive aftermarket (auto body shops and retail), electronics and automotive electrification, appliance, paper and printing, packaging, food and beverage, and construction. Industrial products include tapes, a wide variety of coated, non-woven and bonded abrasives, adhesives, advanced ceramics, sealants, specialty materials, purification (filtration products), closure systems for personal hygiene products, acoustic systems products, and components and products that are used in the manufacture, repair and maintenance of automotive, marine, aircraft and specialty vehicles. 3M is also a leading global supplier of precision grinding technology serving customers in the area of hard-to-grind precision applications in industrial, automotive, aircraft and cutting tools. 3M develops and produces advanced technical ceramics for demanding applications in the automotive, oil and gas, solar, industrial, electronics and defense industries. In August 2015, 3M acquired assets and liabilities associated with Polypore International, Inc.’s Separations Media business, a leading provider of microporous membranes and modules for filtration in the life sciences, industrial and specialty segments. In the first quarter of 2016, 3M sold the assets of its pressurized polyurethane foam adhesives business, and in October 2016 sold the assets of its adhesive-backed temporary protective films business.
Major industrial products include vinyl, polyester, foil and specialty industrial tapes and adhesives; Scotch® Masking Tape, Scotch® Filament Tape and Scotch® Packaging Tape; packaging equipment; 3M™ VHB™ Bonding Tapes; conductive, low surface energy, sealants, hot melt, spray and structural adhesives; reclosable fasteners; label materials for durable goods; coated, nonwoven and microstructured surface finishing and grinding abrasives for the industrial market; a comprehensive line of filtration products for the separation, clarification and purification of fluids and gases; and fluoroelastomers for seals, tubes and gaskets in engines.
Major industrial products used in the transportation industry include insulation components, including Thinsulate™ Acoustic Insulation and components for cabin noise reduction and catalytic converters; functional and decorative graphics; abrasion-resistant films; adhesives; sealants; masking tapes; fasteners and tapes for attaching nameplates, trim, moldings, interior panels and carpeting; coated, nonwoven and microstructured finishing and grinding abrasives; structural adhesives; and other specialty materials. In addition, 3M provides paint finishing and detailing products, including a complete system of cleaners, dressings, polishes, waxes and other products.
Safety and Graphics Business
The Safety and Graphics segment serves a broad range of markets that increase the safety and productivity of people, facilities and systems. Major product offerings include personal protection products, such as respiratory, hearing, eye and fall protection equipment; commercial solutions, including commercial graphics sheeting and systems, architectural design solutions for surfaces, and cleaning and protection products for commercial establishments; transportation safety solutions, such as retroreflective sign sheeting; and roofing granules for asphalt shingles. In August 2015, 3M acquired Capital Safety Group S.A.R.L., a leading global provider of fall protection equipment.
This segment’s products include personal protection products, such as certain disposable and reusable respirators, fall protection equipment, personal protective equipment, head and face protection, body protection, hearing protection and protective eyewear, plus reflective materials that are widely used on apparel, footwear and accessories, enhancing visibility in low-light situations.
Major commercial graphics products include films, inks, and related products used to produce graphics for vehicles, signs and interior surfaces.
In transportation safety, 3M provides reflective sheeting used on highway signs, vehicle license plates, construction work-zone devices, trucks and other vehicles, and also provides pavement marking systems. In December 2015, 3M sold Faab Fabricauto, a French manufacturer of license plates and signage solutions, and in the first quarter of 2016 completed the sale of its library systems business. In June 2017, 3M also completed the sale of its tolling and automated license/number plate recognition business and in October 2017, sold its electronic monitoring business.
Other segment products include spill-control sorbents; nonwoven abrasive materials for floor maintenance and commercial cleaning; floor matting; and natural and color-coated mineral granules for asphalt shingles.
Health Care Business
The Health Care segment serves markets that include medical clinics and hospitals, pharmaceuticals, dental and orthodontic practitioners, health information systems, and food manufacturing and testing. Products and services provided to these and other markets include medical and surgical supplies, skin health and infection prevention products, oral care solutions (dental and orthodontic products), health information systems, inhalation and transdermal drug delivery systems, and food safety products. In March 2015, 3M acquired Ivera Medical Corp., a manufacturer of health care products that disinfect and protect devices used for access into a patient’s bloodstream.
In advanced wound management, 3M is a supplier of medical tapes, dressings, wound closure products, orthopedic casting materials, in addition to acute wound care, skin integrity and disinfecting port protection products. In infection prevention, 3M markets a variety of surgical drapes, masks and preps, electrodes, stethoscopes, as well as sterilization assurance equipment and patient warming solutions designed to prevent hypothermia in surgical settings. Other products include drug delivery systems, such as metered-dose inhalers, transdermal skin patches and related components. Oral care solutions include restoratives, adhesives, finishing and polishing products, crowns, impression materials, preventive sealants, professional tooth whiteners, prophylaxis and orthodontic appliances, as well as digital workflow solutions to transform traditional impression and analog processes. In health information systems, 3M develops and markets computer software for hospital coding and data classification, and provides related consulting services. 3M provides food safety products that make it faster and easier for food processors to test the microbiological quality of food. In September 2017, 3M purchased all of the ownership interests of Elution Technologies, LLC, a Vermont-based manufacturer of test kits that help enable food and beverage companies ensure their products are free from certain potentially harmful allergens such as peanuts, soy or milk.
Electronics and Energy Business
The Electronics and Energy segment serves customers in electronics and energy markets, including solutions that improve the dependability, cost-effectiveness, and performance of electronic devices; electrical products, including infrastructure protection; telecommunications networks; and power generation and distribution.
This segment’s electronics solutions include the display materials and systems business, which provides films that serve numerous market segments of the electronic display industry. 3M provides distinct products for five market segments, including products for: 1) LCD computer monitors 2) LCD televisions 3) handheld devices such as cellular phones and tablets 4) notebook PCs and 5) automotive displays. This segment also provides desktop and notebook computer screen filters that address display light control, privacy, and glare reduction needs. Major electronics products also include packaging and interconnection devices; high performance fluids and abrasives used in the manufacture of computer chips, and for cooling electronics and lubricating computer hard disk drives; and high-temperature and display tapes. Flexible circuits use electronic packaging and interconnection technology, providing more connections in less space, and are used in ink-jet printer cartridges, cell phones and electronic devices. This segment also includes touch systems products, including touch screens, touch monitors, and touch sensor components. In December 2016, 3M sold the assets of its cathode battery technology out-licensing business.
This segment’s energy solutions include electrical products, including infrastructure protection, telecommunications, and renewable energy. This segment serves the world’s electrical and telecommunications markets, including electrical utilities, electrical construction, maintenance and repair, original equipment manufacturers (OEM), telecommunications central office, outside plant and enterprise, as well as aerospace, military, automotive and medical markets, with products that enable the efficient transmission of electrical power and speed the delivery of information. Products in this segment include pressure sensitive tapes and resins, electrical insulation, a wide array of fiber-optic and copper-based telecommunications systems for rapid deployment of fixed and wireless networks, as well as the 3M™ Aluminum Conductor Composite Reinforced (ACCR) electrical power cable that increases transmission capacity for existing power lines. This segment also includes renewable energy component solutions for the solar and wind power industries, as well as infrastructure products solutions that provide municipalities both protection and detection solutions for electrical, oil, natural gas, water, rebar and other infrastructure assets.
The Consumer segment serves markets that include consumer retail, office retail, office business to business, home improvement, drug and pharmacy retail, and other markets. Products in this segment include office
supply products, stationery products, home improvement products (do-it-yourself), home care products, protective material products, certain consumer retail personal safety products, and consumer health care products.
Major consumer products include Scotch® brand products, such as Scotch® Magic™ Tape, Scotch® Glue Stick and Scotch® Cushioned Mailer; Post-it® Products, such as Post-it® Flags, Post-it® Note Pads, Post-it® Labeling & Cover-up Tape, and Post-it® Pop-up Notes and Dispensers; home improvement products, including surface-preparation and wood-finishing materials, Command™ Adhesive Products and Filtrete™ Filters for furnaces and air conditioners; home care products, including Scotch-Brite® Scour Pads, Scotch-Brite® Scrub Sponges, Scotch-Brite® Microfiber Cloth products, O-Cel-O™ Sponges; protective material products, such as Scotchgard™ Fabric Protectors; certain maintenance-free respirators; certain consumer retail personal safety products, including safety glasses, hearing protectors, and 3M Thinsulate™ Insulation, which is used in jackets, pants, gloves, hats and boots to keep people warm; Nexcare™ Adhesive Bandages; and ACE® branded (and related brands) elastic bandage, supports and thermometer product lines.